The Kindness of Strangers… Meet Brenda Perlin

Brenda Perlin

I don’t know Brenda Perlin. We’ve never met, we’ve never spoken; we’ve never even emailed each other (except for a Kindle gift book). I’ve connected with her through sites like Goodreads or Facebook, particularly a Facebook writers group called Master Koda, and though she’s a fellow writer, so far I’ve only read one of her books (a short story for kids called “Ty the Bull,” written with K.D. Emerson and Rex Baughman). Yet, despite this seemingly peripheral relationship, no one has done more to promote and raise a ruckus about my novel, After The Sucker Punch, than this woman. Which I find both astonishing and profound.

There are some artists so focused on their own work that they rarely look outside that narrow sphere to see what others around them might be doing. I have people in my Facebook circle who show up only to post their gig notices, theater schedules, release dates of their CDs/books/films/blogs, or calls-to-action for petitions, votes, and Kickstarter campaigns, but they rarely comment on or share similar posts of others and it seems clear they’re not paying one damn bit of attention to me! 🙂 Which is fine. They don’t have to. But still… I always wonder why they’re there in the first place.

This “disinterest syndrome,” in fact, at least per countless conversations I’ve had with other artists on the topic, often extends outside social media to impact even our closer circles of family and friends. We’re all busy, certainly, but one can’t help but notice the repeatedly unopened or unanswered emails about the new site, the art opening, or the release of a new book; the forgotten promises to leave a review or share the book/CD/film/art piece with known contacts in the industry; the lack of response to queries, promotions, and candid requests to “check out my (fill in the blank).” We all have those people around us (and they tend to be the ones sending “sincere pleas” to donate to their Kickstarter campaigns!).

Then there’s Brenda Perlin.

When my book first came out, I was lucky enough to have some wonderful friends and colleagues who’d read advance copies and left reviews on the Amazon page… which helped greatly with marketing and promotion. But the very first “stranger review” came from Brenda. I didn’t know who she was; it just said “Brenda” on the Amazon page, but it was a thoughtful, impassioned, and very specific review… the kind you revel in as a writer (she even quoted lines from the book!). I later figured out she was the “Brenda Perlin” in the Master Koda writers group to which I belonged and sent her a private Facebook message in thanks. She responded with such sincere appreciation for the book that I was additionally touched.

But she wasn’t done there. She wrote another review on Goodreads, shared information about the book on Pinterest, Twitter and other sites, and within days, I stumbled upon a post from her blog titled, “After the Sucker Punch…a Novel by Lorraine Devon Wilke rocks… and then some!” in which she not only included her Amazon review, but extrapolated further on the book, using a few very clever photos with the cover embedded in random places like bus stop banners, door hangers and urban billboards… like this one:

ATSP subway_photo art by Brenda Perlin

And, to top it off, before I could barely blink an eye after I’d posted my new short story, “She Tumbled Down,” at Amazon, Brenda had already downloaded it, read it, and left a review both there and at Goodreads.

To be honest, I was just blown away. No one before or since (at least not yet!) has made that kind of unsolicited effort to push my work out into the marketplace and I have no idea why Brenda was compelled to do so for me. But beyond her expressed appreciation of my work, I’ve come to realize it’s simply who she is, her very generous and thoughtful nature. She gets it.  She knows what artists need and want in terms of response to their work and she’s gracious enough to offer it. She has the consideration to step outside of herself to provide something of value to her fellow artists. And that’s a gift.

I’ve seen her reach out to many other authors to review their work, encourage them to keep going, and promote their promotions. She must read more than anyone on earth and always takes time to leave a meaningful review that focuses on the positive aspect of whatever she reads. She seems to know when a newbie need a boost, a journeyman could use a hand, or just how and when to tweet, click, share, or comment so that prime attention gets paid in all the right places. She’s like the Johnny Appleseed of indie writers!

I have not yet had the chance to read her other books beyond the short story mentioned above, but I wanted to do something to thank her for being who she is, to acknowledge just how grateful I am for her efforts on my specific behalf. That I can do by throwing a little light her way.

So please visit, “like,” click, download, or just say hello. She’s a rare breed in this crazy world of distraction and disinterest; one of those “strangers” whose kindness changes that status much more quickly than most!

Her blog: Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles
Facebook writer’s page
Twitter: Brenda Perlin
LinkedIn: Brenda Perlin
Amazon Author’s Page: Brenda Perlin

Photo of Brenda from her Facebook page.
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8 thoughts on “The Kindness of Strangers… Meet Brenda Perlin

  1. Brenda Perlin

    I am at a loss for words. I had to read this out loud to my family who I am visiting in LA. I am blown away by your generous words. I am touched beyond any words that I could put to page.

    Like I have said Lorraine, you make it easy to be kind. Goodness shines but it takes more than one to make it shine bright. Beisdes any of that, forget your warm nature and ease, your work speaks for itself. You astonish me with your talents. You write, you sing, you are an artist and so much more than that.

    Reading your work is a gift to me. I do read a lot but there are few books that compare to yours. I mean, that is my honest opinion. I realate to your writers voice and am pulled in by the humanity you share.

    Thank you for paying attention. That makes me feel so good. Makes being helpful that much sweeter. Just your words makes me want to be better and do more. Still, your acknowledgment means the world to me.


  2. I love Brenda! She is a one-of-a-kind, special, generous, amazing person. When I’ve been down or discouraged, Brenda has been there to lend an ear. She’s given a couple of my books an enormous boost and made me feel like a rock star. And her books are incredible. I’d highly recommend them. Thank you, Lorraine, for sharing this lovely tribute to such a lovely woman. Brenda deserves it!


    1. Brenda Perlin

      I am grateful to you Tricia. You have been so kind and generous to me. It is a two way street. Without a doubt. I love you to the moon and back. If I were more clever I would have thought of something more original to say but hope you got my point. You are a giver and a great friend!!!


  3. Tamy Burns

    I’ve only known Brenda through Master Koda and social media, but I so agree with you. She is by far one of the most giving persons I have ever known. I’m honored to know her and have her as a strong online friend. I hope that some day we can meet in person.


    1. You and me both! Lots of wonderful people on Facebook and in other social media groups, but Brenda seems to take that extra step to really SEE people. I find that to be extraordinarily rare and, given that, all the more valued.


    2. Brenda Perlin

      Tamy, you are so darn sweet. There are few people who give as much as you do. I do hope we meet in person and please know I have loved getting to know you. You are always doing so much to help others. Such a love you are.


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